|Program Title||General Services Administration Charge Card Services|
|Department Name||General Services Admin|
|Agency/Bureau Name||General Services Administration, activities|
Direct Federal Program
|Assessment Section Scores||
|Program Funding Level
|Year Began||Improvement Plan||Status||Comments|
Continue to train customers in the proper use of the charge card and in the effective use of the program management tools and controls provided by GSA SmartPay??. 1 Update online training courses for cardholders and AOPCs and begin online delivery. 2 Update annual conference training presentation content relating to program management controls and proper use of charge cards. 3 Develop customer satisfaction survey (including assessment on effectiveness of training) and implement.
|Action taken, but not completed|
Work with the banks that provide charge card services to ensure that GSA is provided data on card purchases in a timely manner. Establish a method to track flow of data requests to banks and document this process.
|Action taken, but not completed|
|Year Began||Improvement Plan||Status||Comments|
Measure: Overall customer satisfaction of GSA SmartPay Program
Explanation:This measure would capture the overall customer satisfaction of customers in regard to their use of the program to include but not limited to ease of use, usefulness of web based resources and customer support. Results would be based on annual survey results going forward with an overall goal of improved results in the out years. While we do not currently have an annual survey in place for the program we feel this could be implemented in a short timeframe. The established targets for this measure are based on the results of a customer satisfaction review that was conducted in FY 2004 as part of a program review. These targets would serve as a starting point going forward but may need to be adjusted based on the initial results of the survey.
Measure: GSA SmartPay Conference satisfaction as determined by attendee survey results
Explanation:This measure will capture the success rate of the annual SmartPay Conference as determined by attendee survey results. The SmartPay Conference serves as a valuable tool to train customer agencies in the proper use of the tools that are provided within the contract. Approximately 4,000 customers attend this conference each year creating an opportunity to share information with a significant portion of our customer base. Baseline data for this measure exists from 2004 and targets could be established for the future years at this time
Measure: Government-wide spend per GSA SmartPay Contract Administration FTE
Explanation:This efficiency measure is relative to the number of FTE that manage the contract and the dollar volume that is spent by customer agencies that use the card. This measure is similar to those used in other FAS programs such as Fleet and Vehicle Acquisition to demonstrate that the output of a program has increased relative to the input. In the case of GSA SmartPay the measure would show that while the number of FTE that manage the contract stays flat the dollar volume that runs through the card has increased in the past and continues to grow while at a slower rate currently (indicating increased efficiency)
Measure: Timeliness of report submission
Explanation:This measure would demonstrate the effectiveness of the GSA SmartPay program office in promoting compliance from the banks with its reporting requirements. The metric measures the percentage of times that reports requested by the banks are received by GSA (or its designated delegate) by the dates specified. This metric is important as it holds the banks that provide card services accountable to GSA and its customers for providing a deliverable that is requested in a timely manner. Additionally, this measure supports the banks (contractors) and GSA working together to support the federal customer.
|Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design|
Is the program purpose clear?
Explanation: Four business lines are offered by the GSA SmartPay?? program: fleet, travel, purchase, and integrated charge cards. The program office provides contract administration and customer service support to the 350 agencies organizations, and tribal governments. The program also organizes an annual training conference for agency program coordinators. The GSA SmartPay?? program maintains a master contract with five banks that provides the agencies with commercial charge card-based procurement and payment solutions to enable them to make transactions more efficiently and conveniently. Each agency awards task orders under the master contract to one or more selected bank(s) for their unique program requirements.
Evidence: The following link to the GSA SmartPay?? website provides detailed information on the program as well as access to training that is available for customer agencies. http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelPage=%252Fep%252Fchannel%252FgsaOverview.jsp&channelId=-13497
Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?
Explanation: The program offers federal agencies, organizations and tribal governments an alternative to traditional paper-based procurement methods for micro-purchases ($2,500 and below), and a charge card-based payment method for purchases above $2,500. It also provides cards for travel and fleet related expenditures. Since its inception in 1998, the current program has grown by over 68% in annual sales and over 52% in the number of annual transactions. In Fiscal Year 2005, nearly $25 billion was spent through approximately 92 million transactions using 2.6 million cards. The use of charge cards also enables the electronic collection of data on government procurements, which allows improved analysis in support of strategic sourcing initiatives.
Evidence: The use of charge cards enables customer agencies to better adhere to the requirements of the Prompt Payment Act of 1999. This act requires the Federal Government pay vendors n a timely fashion, in the event that payments are not rendered on time interest payments are accessed to outstanding liabilities of the government. Statistics relative to the programs use across the Federal Government can be found on the programs website at the following address http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?pageTypeId=8199&ooid=11490&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaDocument.jsp&programId=10137&channelId=-13503#GSA%20SmartPay%20Fleet%20Card%20Statistics
Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?
Explanation: Although GSA SmartPay?? was not established as a mandatory program, under the current contract, agencies were invited to opt into the program as mandatory users, which they did, making this the largest charge card program in the world with participation by almost all federal agencies and organizations. GSA SmartPay?? leverages the commercial card platform offered by card-issuing banks to the private sector instead of developing a parallel system exclusively for government use. Some states have similar programs, while other states (e.g., State of New York) have informally expressed their interest in potentially participating in the program.
Evidence: This program is used by almost all federal agencies as indicated by the charge card performance summary information on the program's website (http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?pageTypeId=8199&ooid=11490&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaDocument.jsp&programId=10137&channelId=-13503#Executive%20Summary). The Requests for Commitment are the original letters signed by agencies to commit to be mandatory users of the current GSA SmartPay?? program, and the Participation Agreements are letters for agencies to agree to participate in the future GSA SmartPay?? program (SP2).
Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?
Explanation: Based on customer feedback and the growth in usage of the program by federal agencies, no major design flaws have been noted that would limit the program's effectiveness and/or efficiency. However, numerous opportunities exist for it to improve its operations, for example, by implementing a data warehouse with which to improve program data and reporting. The program also undertook a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis in 2005 to identify its opportunities for improvement. Based on the results of this and feedback obtained from customers and stakeholders through focus groups, interviews, and surveys, the program is working towards refining its service portfolio to offer more program management services, while continuing to provide traditional contract management services. The program also identified staffing resource constraints that are being addressed in the FAS reorganization.
Evidence: The program has had outside reviews (Deloitte Review 3.9 and SWOT Analysis Discussions) that have examined the operations of the program and its design to ensure that the mission of the program is efficiently and effectively supported. These reviews and their findings support the overall success of the program and provide valuable feedback to further improve going forward. The reorganization of the Federal Supply Service (FSS) and the Federal Technology Service (FTS) to form the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) has elevated the visibility of this program within GSA, which will help ensure that sufficient resources are dedicated to program operations. http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?programId=10809&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaOverview.jsp&P=FMC&pageTypeId=8199&ooid=20945&channelId=-17545
Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?
Explanation: The intended beneficiaries of the program are federal agencies and organizations that require a convenient and secure procurement and payment solution for making purchases in support of their mission critical activities. The GSA SmartPay?? master contract that the program office administers enables agencies to customize their requirements at the task order level. In addition, refunds (based on volume of card spend and speed of payments) paid by contractors under this program to the participating agencies totaled approximately $118 million in FY 2005.
Evidence: The 1994 Purchase Card Council Study calculates that agencies save $54 per transaction in administrative savings when they use a purchase card. The GSA SmartPay?? Executive Summary states the yearly total refunds received by agencies as a whole through the GSA SmartPay?? program.
|Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design||Score||95%|
|Section 2 - Strategic Planning|
Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?
Explanation: Due to the GSA reorganization, the program was recently moved out of the Services Acquisition Center and, as a result, has just developed specific long-term performance measures. The program has clearly defined strategic goals/objectives that are outcome-focused and reflect the purpose of the program, namely, to provide excellent service to customer agencies and to continuously improve the efficiency of program operations.
Evidence: The program has established long-term performance measures relative to customer satisfaction and program efficiency. The measures are "Overall Customer Satisfaction of GSA SmartPay Program" and "Government-wide spend per GSA SmartPay Contract Administration FTE"; these measures are discussed further in the performance measures section of this review.
Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?
Explanation: The program's key long term measures, focus on continuous improvement of the program's operations and customer service delivery. Targets and timeframes were recently developed.
Evidence: The targets and timeframes for these measures are included in the performance measures section of this review. These targets and timeframes will also be included in the FY 2008 GSA Congressional Budget Justification.
Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?
Explanation: Due to the GSA reorganization in which the program was recently moved out of the Services Acquisition Center, annual performance measures aligned to long term goals are currently under development. The program's key annual performance measure demonstrating progress towards the program's long term goals is: (1) annual GSA SmartPay?? conference attendee satisfaction per survey results, and; (2) timeliness of report submission.
Evidence: The program's annual performance measure is included in the performance measures section of this review and will also be included in GSA's FY 2008 external budget documents. Improved performance is demonstrated based on prior year performance relative to program's customer satisfaction scores relative to its conference and improved efficiency relative to the management of the contract.
Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?
Explanation: GSA has established baselines and specific quantified annual targets for its annual performance measures. Program performance will be monitored against targeted levels to ensure that programs are improving over time. All Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) measures are analyzed each year to determine the relevance of the measure and its targets based on current performance and the current business environment. When necessary, adjustments are made to incorporate new measures that are more in line with business operations.
Evidence: The GSA SmartPay?? Program Performance Measure that has been developed is included in the performance measures section of this review; additionally these measures and their targets will be included in the GSA FY 2008 Congressional Justification.
Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?
Explanation: The goals are not included in the contracts with the banks, etc. However, the GSA SmartPay?? program has clearly defined strategic objectives that partners and stakeholders are committed to and work toward achieving.
Evidence: While the programs' performance goals and measures are not included in the GSA SmartPay?? Master Contract, as discussed above, clearly defined strategic objectives are defined in the contract which partners and stakeholders are committed to and work toward achieving.
Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?
Explanation: Between 2004 and 2005, Deloitte conducted evaluations of the key dimensions of the program, including: ?? Program management review ?? Materials review ?? Website review ?? Reporting process review (As-is and To-be) ?? Customer (A/OPC) satisfaction survey ?? Conference handbook / project plan review and revision ?? Benchmarking framework for charge card management and performance ?? Data management strategy review.
Evidence: Overarching reviews of the entire program were conducted between 2004 and 2005 as mentioned above. These reviews validated the operations of the program and provided valuable feedback which will be implemented to further improve the program, which includes the following. ?? Design, develop, and deploy a data warehouse/reporting application to support improved data management and reporting. ?? Identify effective metrics to measure the different aspects of the program and implement a framework to continuously measure and benchmark program management and performance. ?? Design and staff an effective organizational structure to support the increased program management and customer service focus of the GSA SmartPay program office. ?? Design website purpose/strategy and implement content and process changes aimed at serving multiple customer needs and reducing GSA SmartPay staff workload.
Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?
Explanation: GSA requires all of its major programs to adhere to its Performance Management Process (PMP) which requires that all external budget requests (OMB Submission and Congressional Justifications) link program funding requests to the accomplishment of its performance measures. GSA has linked its funding requests to performance measures since FY 2004 and will continue this practice in FY 2008. Prior to the formation of the Federal Acquisition Service all GSA SmartPay?? budget requests were included in the Commercial Acquisition Business Line (FY 2006 Congressional Budget Justification, page GSF-22).
Evidence: FY 2006 Congressional Budget Justification (http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelId=-13346&programId=9666#Congressional%20Performance%20Budget%20Justifications)
Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?
Explanation: Deloitte was commissioned to review and recommend improvements to key components of the program including strategic direction, organizational structure, processes and technology, and stakeholders and customer management. This included developing a SWOT analysis and value proposition. To support its evolving program management role, the program 1) is hiring additional staff, and 2) has retained the services of a support contractor to provide ongoing program management support. Additionally, the GSA SmartPay?? program has actively participated in the GSA Performance Management Process (PMP) and has completed a Strategic Analysis (SA) and a Strategy and Action Plan (SAP) which is a building block for the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) external budget request. Through this process performance measures and targets were developed that represent program operations and the intent of the program going forward. These measures are included in the performance measures section of this review and will be addressed in the FY 2008 budget cycle.
Evidence: GSA Program Management Review: Preliminary Options for Improvement (Deloitte Review 3.2), Management Review: Implementation Plan (Deloitte Review 3.2), Establishing Benchmarks for Card Program Management and Performance (Deloitte Review 3.8), SWOT Analysis Discussion (April 8, 2005), GSA SmartPay?? Value Proposition. Key options for improvement identified included staffing the office to meet the anticipated future program objectives and support value proposition.
|Section 2 - Strategic Planning||Score||88%|
|Section 3 - Program Management|
Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?
Explanation: The program regularly collects program-related performance information from key program partners. Data relating to delinquencies by agency is collected each month and included in the CFO Report; publication of this information has heightened high level agency involvement, which has helped to reduce the average delinquency rate over time to just over 3% in calendar year 2005. Monthly reports are also sent by program contractors to a database administered by the CIO's office, from which the program office performs analyses. Contractors are also required to provide socio-economic data to the program.
Evidence: As discussed the SmartPay Program collects performance data on a regular basis in regard to customer delinquency rates and program performance. This information is included in Monthly CFO reports. The program also works extensively with customer agencies and vendors through stakeholder interviews to gather information to improve program operations and performance. Socio-economic data is also collected from contractors to ensure that the government is fulfilling its mission of fostering business relationships with small and disadvantaged businesses.
Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?
Explanation: To create an accountability framework among federal program managers and partners, the GSA SmartPay?? program office collates and publishes agency delinquency data in a monthly Chief Financial Officer (CFO) report which is distributed to all CFOs, to promote the reduction of the government's delinquency rate. Additionally, agencies must report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and maintain for their own use, information about program management controls and send a report to OMB outlining program performance data as required by OMB Circular A-123, Appendix B, Chapter 5. To ensure contractors are accountable for their performance, the GSA SmartPay?? program office has designed contract options that allow agencies to switch contractors, if their needs are unmet by incumbent contractors.
Evidence: As required by OMB Circular A-123 /omb/circulars/a123/a123_appendix_b.pdf, agencies report to OMB on their management controls. Additionally, in the event that contractors are not performing up to the customer's standards agencies have the option to switch service providers, holding service providers accountable for the level of service provided.
Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner, spent for the intended purpose and accurately reported?
Explanation: GSA SmartPay??, in cooperation with the Federal Acquisition Service's Controller's office, utilizes a rigorous financial planning process which establishes resources requirements for its operations prior to the execution of the current year's budget and operations. These plans are tracked throughout the year on a monthly basis and compared with actual spending as funds are utilized to execute program operations. Any large variations between planned and actual spending are researched to ensure that program operations are being executed according to plan. GSA and FAS financial practices and processes are also certified through the annual financial audit as documented in the Annual Performance and Accountability Report for GSA.
Evidence: Through tracking the use of funds on a monthly basis within the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Controller's Office the program ensures that its funds are obligated in a timely manner and spent for the intended purpose. As stated any discrepancies in the use of funds compared to the program's plan is investigated and resolved. Additionally, FAS's performance on its financial audits in the past also is indicative of the program's success in managing funds see archive of prior annual reports http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?pageTypeId=8199&ooid=10645&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaDocument.jsp&programId=9666&channelId=-13346
Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?
Explanation: The GSA SmartPay?? program office promotes efficiencies and cost effectiveness in this program by through competitive sourcing and cost comparisons between bidders. Additionally, the program office awards the contract to more than one contractor, which promotes competition at the task order level between contractors for agency business.
Evidence: The current Master Contract provides core products and services to agencies through five banks. However, banks must compete for agency business at the task order level, which supports cost effectiveness and improved service offerings when agencies go through the process of selecting their bank(s). The future SP2 draft RFP is also designed as a multiple award ID/IQ and allows competition at the task order level.
Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?
Explanation: GSA SmartPay?? collaborates with other programs within GSA. As part of the acquisition planning for the future GSA SmartPay?? program (SP2), which would provide an enhanced portfolio of charge card-related products and services to agencies, a GSA Intra-Agency Committee was established comprising representatives from related programs, including eTravel, City Pair, GSA Fleet, eAuthentication, IAE (Integrated Acquisition Environment), GSA Advantage!, Office of Transportation and Property Management (Audit Division), and others. Members of the IAC were interviewed to ensure that their requirements were addressed in SP2, and discussions at IAC meetings consistently focus on the collaboration of GSA SmartPay with its sister programs.
Evidence: Collaboration across GSA ensures that the requirements of all stakeholders that interface with the program's services are met and incorporated in planning in the future planning of the SmartPay program. The Intra-Agency Committee was specifically established to promote collaboration between GSA SmartPay and its sister programs, as evidenced by its Charter and meeting minutes. The IAC Charter states that: "The General Services Administration (GSA) Intra-Agency Committee (IAC) has been established to ensure that priorities in the next generation of the GSA SmartPay?? program are aligned and communicated across relevant GSA initiatives and departments (e.g., City Pair, e-Travel, GSA Advantage!, etc.). The IAC will facilitate intra-agency communications and promote open discussion on topics and issues relevant to planning for the next generation of the program."
Does the program use strong financial management practices?
Explanation: The GSA SmartPay?? program is supported by Pegasys, the GSA official financial system of record. The Federal Acquisition Service, Controller's Office also monitors monthly spending and prepares monthly operating expense reports to ensure that the program is operating within the annually established budget levels. The Federal Supply Service (FSS) account that funds this program also has received favorable findings in GSA's annual audit for the past 17 years.
Evidence: The audit findings for the past 17 years have reflected favorable results for the accounts which fund this program indicating the program has strong financial management practices. An archive of prior year annual reports containing the financial audit findings can be found at the link below. http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?pageTypeId=8199&ooid=10645&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaDocument.jsp&programId=9666&channelId=-13346
Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?
Explanation: In August 2004, the program engaged Deloitte to conduct a series of reviews on different aspects of the program. These reviews included the following: ?? Program management review ?? Materials review ?? Website review ?? Reporting process review (As-is and To-be) ?? Customer (A/OPC) satisfaction survey ?? Conference handbook / project plan review and revision ?? Benchmarking framework for charge card management and performance ?? Data strategy review. The program has been utilizing the results of these reviews as they develop the future program office, and is working to implement many of the recommendations. For example, results from the program management review were used as input to develop the program's organizational structure in the Federal Acquisition Service; the results of the materials and website reviews are being used to update the program's training and website; and the data strategy results are being used as the program explores data warehouse options.
Evidence: The program has incorporated the findings of the Deloitte review mentioned above in reshaping its organization structure; these recommendations were also utilized in reshaping the organization in the formation of the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) the following link provides detailed information in regard to the formation of FAS. http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/programView.do?programId=10809&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaOverview.jsp&P=FMC&pageTypeId=8199&ooid=20945&channelId=-17545. Recommendations in regard to program training and the program's website that were the result of the Deloitte review also are currently being incorporated by the program.
|Section 3 - Program Management||Score||100%|
|Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability|
Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?
Explanation: The GSA SmartPay?? program has demonstrated consistent progress towards its long-term performance goals. Historically, the program achieved success with two long-term performance measures - "GSA SmartPay Conference satisfaction as determined by attendee survey results" and "Government-wide spend per GSA SmartPay Contract Administration FTE". Although the second measure did not have a target, the program has experienced improvement for the past two years in regard to this measure.
Evidence: Performance data is provided in regard to the "GSA SmartPay Conference satisfaction as determined by attendee survey results" and "Government-wide spend per GSA SmartPay Contract Administration FTE". This data demonstrates a positive trend and out-year targets are reported in the performance measures section of this document. This data will also be displayed in the FY 2008 GSA Budget Submission.
Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?
Explanation: To-date, GSA has gained progress towards its long-term goals, which include annual targets. GSA also has developed new annual measures, although performance results have not yet been tracked against established targets.
Evidence: The annual measures that were developed are included in the performance measures section of this review. These measures are as follows. ?? GSA SmartPay Conference satisfaction as determined by attendee survey results ?? Timeliness of report submission
Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?
Explanation: GSA has established the following performance measure to monitor and demonstrate improved efficiency of operations "Government-wide spend per GSA SmartPay Contract Administration FTE". Based on FY 2004 and FY 2005 performance data the program has achieved improvements relative to this measure.
Evidence: This measure is as follows: ?? Government-wide spend per GSA SmartPay Contract Administration FTE. The performance measures section of this review contains the prior year performance data for this measure as well as targets going forward. These results will also be included in the GSA FY 2008 Budget Submission.
Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?
Explanation: The GSA SmartPay?? program is the largest card program in the world in terms of sales. A key indicator of card program health is reduced payment delinquencies, on which the GSA SmartPay?? program compares favorably with the average delinquency rates sourced from commercial entities. However, it is unable to compare its program costs to that of other card programs.
Evidence: Based on the programs ability to reduce delinquency rates of customer agencies as reflected in the Monthly GSA SmartPay?? CFO reports relative to delinquency rates realized in the private sector the program achieves an outcome that compares favorably to those achieved in private industry. However, it is not possible to do a comprehensive comparison of this program to a similar program, as this program is unique relative to government and private organizations.
Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?
Explanation: In a recent customer satisfaction survey, respondents assigned moderate to high levels of importance to the products and services provided by the GSA SmartPay?? program office, and expressed moderate to high levels of satisfaction with the same products and services. Recent GAO studies have also focused on the purchase card as a tool that agencies can use to achieve significant procurement savings. See Deloitte reviews (please refer to Question 2.6) for additional information.
Evidence: Based on the findings of over arching reviews by Deloitte the program management office received favorable results indicating that the program is effectively managed and achieving desired results.
|Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability||Score||87%|